Donations sought for cancer victim |

Donations sought for cancer victim

Randi Barnett wants to send a message to the community. “If you have a medical problem, don’t procrastinate. It’s important to be checked.”

For three years Barnett thought she was treating hemorrhoids, until she had a colonoscopy and was diagnosed with neuro endocrine small cell carcinoma.

“Small cell cancer is typically in the lungs, brain and bones. My case is rare because my primary tumor site was in my anal opening. In addition, the cancer had spread to my groin lymph nodes,” Barnett said.

A 30-year resident of Zephyr Cove, Barnett is the owner of Zephyr Feed. The store, which was located on Dorla Court off Elks Point Road for many years, was recently relocated to 298 Kingsbury Grade.

Barnett started 12 rounds of chemotherapy in June 2007, traveling to Carson Tahoe Cancer Center three consecutive days a week for 21 days. She started radiation in July, which took place every day for six weeks. Through all this, she kept the store open with the help of friends and volunteers.

On Aug. 30 she was at Barton Hospital being hydrated at the infusion center when her red and white blood cells dropped to death levels. She was flown to the oncology ICU center at St. Mary’s Hospital in Reno, where she remained until Sept. 5. She came home and finished radiation treatments at the end of September.

“I was in the healing process from the end of September to November, when I went in for a PET scan and the results showed the tumor was gone, and there were no signs of mestatized disease left in the groin lymph nodes.” Barnett said.

However, it did show a new mass in her abdomen, which turned out to be an ovarian tumor the size of a grapefruit. The tumor was borderline cancer, so she had a total hysterectomy the day before Christmas.

“Everything looks good now. I’m recovering from the surgery and getting my strength back. Hopefully, the cancer is behind me. I’m not one to sit down and give up. I’m working hard with my diet and physical exercise to keep me cancer free. If you don’t have a good attitude, you can’t get past it,” Barnett said.

Even though Barnett has limited medical insurance, many of the expenses are not covered and the bills keep coming in. Her husband, Bob, is a disabled Vietnam veteran with no insurance coverage. An account has been established at Wells Fargo Bank to help the family. Donations may be made to the Randi Barnett Complete Advantage Checking Account No. 8302664274 at any Wells Fargo branch.

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